Clostridium difficile–associated disease (CDAD) is a major problem in the health sector and an ongoing and serious concern throughout Canada. This 18- month research project will accomplish the complete genome sequencing of eight isolates of C. difficile. It will: measure genetic diversity within and between strains; construct catalogues for genes and proteins; search for other genes that might contribute to increased virulence and/or antimicrobial resistance; and begin to determine how different toxins and genes correlate with disease-causing ability.
Ultimately, the project will allow Canadian and international researchers to develop better tests for C. difficile detection and diagnosis; describe factors that may influence virulence; and plan future experiments for identifying causative genes and their roles in pathogenesis. These are necessary steps toward devising new strategies for disease control and treatment.